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Interactive Visualization a Key Prerequisite for Reconstruction and Analysis of Anatomically
 

Summary: Interactive Visualization ­ a Key Prerequisite for
Reconstruction and Analysis of Anatomically
Realistic Neural Networks
Vincent J. Dercksen, Marcel Oberlaender, Bert Sakmann, and Hans-Christian Hege
Abstract Recent progress in large-volume microscopy, tissue-staining, as well as
in image processing methods and 3D anatomy reconstruction allow neuroscientists
to extract previously inaccessible anatomical data with high precision. For instance,
determination of neuron numbers, 3D distributions and 3D axonal and dendritic
branching patterns support recently started efforts to reconstruct anatomically real-
istic network models of many thousand neurons. Such models aid in understanding
neural network structure, and, by numerically simulating electro-physiological sig-
naling, also to reveal their function.
We illustrate the impact of visual computing on neurobiology at the example of
important steps that are required for the reconstruction of large neural networks. In
our case, the network to be reconstructed represents a single cortical column in the
rat brain, which processes sensory information from its associated facial whisker
hair. We demonstrate how analysis and reconstruction tasks, such as neuron somata
counting and tracing of neuronal branches, have been incrementally accelerated ­
finally leading to efficiency gains of orders of magnitude. We also show how steps
that are difficult to automatize can now be solved interactively with visual support.

  

Source: Andrzejak, Artur - Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum für Informationstechnik Berlin
Löbel, Andreas M. - Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum für Informationstechnik

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences